Managing Summer Vacations with an Advanced Time & Attendance System

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1 Managing Summer Vacations with an Advanced Time & Attendance System

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3 Table of Contents Raising Employee Engagement With Time & Attendance Software...5 Top 3 Ways To Forecast Schedules With Time & Attendance Software...6 Tips On How To Structure Your PTO Policy...7 Avoid Scheduling Nightmares During Summer Vacation Season with Time & Attendance Software...8 Mobile Solutions For Time off Requests...10 How Time Off Affects Your Bottom Line Methods To Reduce Costs During Slow Season...12 Survey Results Reveal Managing Paid Time Off: What to Offer & How to Distribute It...14 Key Takeaways...17

4 74% of companits feel sufficient workforce staffing is key to running their business 4

5 Raising Employee Engagement With Time & Attendance Software Whenever the weather gets hot, an employee s will to work starts to melt. This affects the whole morale of an office, and there are soft costs associated with managing an unproductive workforce. An advanced time and attendance software solution raises employee engagement by providing tools to manage time in and away from the office. Employee time tracking is not just for managers. Here s how a cloud-based time and attendance system helps all personnel: #1: Employees Want Their Payroll To Be Accurate First and foremost, your people want a secure timesheet that logs their pay rates, so Payroll gives them an accurate paycheck. If there is a discrepancy between what they were expecting and what they received, a transparent chain of approvals and/or changes is recorded. #2: PTO Included In Salary Package After money, the next thing on their minds is time off. PTO is a negotiated perk in their salary package. They are entitled to holidays and other forms of paid leave, and they want the ability to monitor those hours down to the last second. #3 Access to Time & Attendance Platform Through A Mobile Device Sometimes mobility is an issue for employees. If yours have smartphones, they want the flexibility to clock in/out in real time. Mobile time and attendance software lets them conduct business from approved locations nettime solutions 5

6 Top 3 Ways To Forecast Schedules With Time & Attendance Software To predict operational needs and create forecast schedules with cloud-based time and attendance software, you can take a few different approaches. To begin, start with Viewing Your Numbers Look at numbers from last year and a few previous years. In a single, easy-to-read bar chart, pull together different periods of time and attendance data and compare Scheduled vs. Actual Hours Worked. Understaffed two years ago, but overstaffed last year? This year you can hit your staffing sweet spot. Analyzing Your Data Analyze the time spent across the custom categories you had set up. Depending on your type of business, you may have time filters labeled for Department, Location, Project, Customer Account, etc. Everyone s wording may be different, but the principle is the same: How is time being used? Labor analytics can help you identify when and where your staffing needs are greatest. Forecasting Your Schedules Create a highly visual schedule that lets you forecast how many shifts you need to staff and at what pay rates. This can help you prepare a payroll budget. Workforce management is also greatly enhanced because you re not only bringing on extra people (or moving existing staff around), but you know exactly when and where to deploy them nettime solutions 6

7 Tips On How To Structure Your PTO Policy Developing a PTO policy for a company is not as easy as some may think. Benefits are a huge part of attracting, hiring, and retaining good employees. With the ever-changing business dynamic, employers are expected to provide a standard time off allowance in order to stay competitive within their market. What most employees and new hires don t realize is the amount of time and thought that goes into creating the ultimate PTO policy, especially one that provides employees with sufficient time off for vacations, relaxation, or to tend to personal needs. Deciding how employees accrue time off, whether to include floating holidays, and setting guidelines for sick days are just a few of the considerations to take into account when structuring your company s PTO policy. Below are some useful questions to consider when creating your PTO Policy: 1. What can you realistically offer? When considering your vacation policy, you have to determine what s best from a cost standpoint to your company and it s staff. 2. How will these changes affect current employees? Determining who is eligible, based on hire date or employee type (such as part time employees), is an important piece of developing your PTO policy. Employers will also need to establish when an employee may begin to accrue time. Also, many companies have a day waiting period before the employee is eligible to take time off. 3. How will employees accrue paid time off? There are a few options to consider when structuring the accrual method of your PTO policy. For example: Calendar year vs. anniversary date Granted vs. accrued Tiered vs. flat Employers must also consider what becomes of accrued but unused days when the calendar year ends and/or when an employee leaves the company. Are they carried over? Is there an accrual cap? Are the days paid out, either by employer choice or as required by state law? Answering these questions can help you begin to design your PTO policy nettime solutions 7

8 Avoid Scheduling Nightmares During Summer Vacation Season with Time & Attendance Software Managers have a number of responsibilities. Between project deadlines, achieving department and company goals, traveling, resolving customer conflicts, and managing a team of people there is a lot to keep up with. And if your staff is working in shift rotations, that s just more thing to add to your plate. When concerning schedules, situations arise that may be difficult to avoid and/or work around. Particularly during summer, which tends to be the season for vacation requests nettime solutions 8

9 Avoid scheduling nightmares during your employee vacation season with these tips: Avoid Scheduling Conflicts Scheduling conflicts are one of the most common types of problems that occur. This can happen when a manager schedules a shift for an employee who requests time off last minute due to other obligations. Another common mistake that arises is when a manager does not account for an employee to be on vacation during an approved time off. As a manager, it s essential to keep track of all of your employees vacation requests so you can avoid conflicts. To do this, you can refer to a team calendar that you maintain and/or a scheduling software system that helps create and manage attendance data. Reduce Overtime With project deadlines to meet, there will be times when extra hours or double shifts are required from you and your team. When this occurs, it s important to be mindful of who is working what shift and placing people in back-to-back or double shifts. Requiring an employee to work overtime is ok, so long as it is not harmful to their productivity, well being, and doesn t max out your payroll budget for that pay period. If you re on a strict no-overtime policy or one of your employees has exceeded his hours for the week, review your alternative options to keep your payroll payouts in order. Think Ahead for Shift Rotations If your company works around the clock, you may run into instances where you re having to switch employees from night to day shifts or vice versa. If that s the case, many managers give a grace period between the shift cycles of two or more days in an effort to reduce any impact that an employee may have concerning their sleep and performance. Fill in the Gaps There are times when shift adjustments, employee absences and/or emergencies are unavoidable. In these cases, you as a manager may have to step up to the plate and fill in those gaps to maintain production goals, etc. If you are unable to do so, simply communicating to your staff that there is an extra shift that needs to be filled can be a viable solution. Most people aren t opposed to working overtime if they are hourly employees. Reminding them of that may sweeten the deal nettime solutions 9

10 Mobile Solutions For Time Off Requests Keeping track of an employee s time and attendance is similar to herding cats. Depending on how many employees you oversee, each one may have his or her own set of varying hours he or she is scheduled to work. Managing time and attendance is time consuming, especially if you are manually keeping track of your staff s shift changes let alone managing employees who are on the road or work remotely. The good news is mobile time collection gives you the ability to track an employee s location through the use of geolocation technology. It eliminates the old school punch in station process by shifting it all to the cloud. What more could you want? That is a valid question to ask. Here s how it helps How Mobile Solutions Help A Manager A mobile time tracking solution is helpful as it takes away your manual labor efforts by automating your time and attendance processes. You can record and approve each employee s shifts from a single system in real-time. With GPS on their mobile device, a manager can track where and when his or her employee is working their scheduled hours, approve or deny time off requests, and even mass edit employees schedules if a shift change is required. How Mobile Solutions Help An Employee From an employee standpoint, the mobile functionality gives him or her the freedom to clock in and out using the internal GeoPunch option. They also have access to a dashboard that enables them to view their time card, request time off, and automate job costing nettime solutions 10

11 How Time Off Affects Your Bottom Line Oftentimes, managers overlook the importance of how employee time-off affects expenses. Tracking an employee s time & attendance is one thing, but tracking their time off requires an entirely different approach. When an employee requests time off, calls in due to illness, or has some form of an emergency, the company suffers. Perhaps not literally, as shifts can be covered and deadlines can be rescheduled but in the scheme of things TIME = $ And every minute of every hour equates to some form of expense or gain. The Bureau of Labor Statistics average absence rate of an employee per year is 4% According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average absence rate of an employee per year is 4.4 percent. Using this as a reference, let s take that percentage and tally it up against the average amount you spend on payroll for an employee. Average Salary = $50,000 You Have 300 Employees $50,000 x 300 = $1.5 million 4.4% of $1.5 million = $66,000 $66,000 per year attributed to employee absences For simplicity sake, let s say you spend an average of $50,000 per employee per year and you have 300 employees. From a cost perspective, you are spending $1.5 million on payroll each year, 4.4 percent of which is being allocated to employee absenteeism. In total, that s $66,000 per year that attributes to overall employee absences. So ask yourself again How does time-off affect your bottom line? Employers can curb absences by establishing PTO banks, incentive programs and disciplinary policies. Interpreting, calculating and recording attendance is no small feat. Having a reliable time and attendance system to monitor your metrics is key in building a strategy to track employee performance nettime solutions 11

12 8 Methods To Reduce Costs During Slow Season All businesses have a slow season. It s within this period that companies have a tendency to place urgency on reducing costs. In most cases, it s a good way to tackle costs by trimming the fat. Unfortunately for some organizations, the presumption is that line managers will take the right actions to control their department costs. Or perhaps they will follow their CFO s suggestions to delay critical investments, shift costs from one accounting category to another, or reduce overhead. If any of these options are being suggested they may not be the best strategy if you re looking for a long-term solution. They are short-term solutions that will create an illusion of cost reduction and, in turn, cause more damage to your company further down the line. Without broadcasting reduction costs, it is important to outline how much the company is looking to save during its off-season. From there, you can begin defining the steps on how you plan to achieve those goals. To create value through cost cutting, managers need to understand the best ways to allocate operating expenses. Define costs into two categories: selling costs and R&D 2015 nettime solutions 12

13 You can influence the understanding of this directly with your managers by expressing the importance that the return on invested capital (ROIC) and the growth of the markets in which your company playsand the impact they make. Together, these factors can help you map out your costs. This will no doubt reveal opportunities for cost reduction, as well as identify possible areas for growth. Below is a simple checklist to refer to as a starting point to get your cost reduction thinking caps working. Start with your expenses You can: 1. Enforce a no-travel policy instead, use video conferencing tools 2. Place recruiting on hold utilize the staff you have and plan out a budget for the following term for when demand is higher 3. Adjust hours or eliminate overtime as an option for your hourly employees 48% of companies avoid overtime if it is possible. 4. Cut back on office supply usage and orders utilize the cloud and reference your items digitally By product you can 5. Adjust product orders price out vendors for better production rates 6. Consider repackaging your product 7. Create a bundled sales strategy 8. Cross-train to utilize your current support and training teams 2015 nettime solutions 13

14 Survey Results Reveal Managing Paid Time Off: What to Offer & How to Distribute It Figuring out how to structure your paid time off policy has been a long-standing dilemma for employers. Determining how many sick days, vacation time, and what holidays to allocate off can be overwhelming. HR Managers have to dissect every aspect of the company in an effort to appropriately develop a quality benefits package. In the same instance, HR Managers have to consider what the best interest of the employer is and also ensure that they set the company s policy up correctly so the organization does not lose money in the process. Creating a valuable paid time off policy and affectively distributing it relies on a few key elements: Size of your organization Type of work being produced Competition for hiring According to our latest survey, 58% said that sick time was the most common benefit employees were provided with and 55% said vacation time was a secondary inclusion. Given these results, paid time off is a big part of an employee s hiring package and something to keep in mind when recruiting for positions. 14

15 When it comes to having access to PTO, 35% said that paid time off is distributed by calendar year at their company, where as 38% said they had to accrue their time off throughout the year. When considering how unused paid time off was dealt with, 27% of the respondents stated that their company allowed employees to carry over their unused PTO, while 24% relayed that unused paid time off must be used by the end of the year or otherwise be forfeited. Though there isn t a large gap between the two statistics, you can imagine, from a recruiting perspective, how a candidate would take that aspect of their benefits package into consideration. To look at it more closely, if you were offered a position that allowed you to roll over your unused PTO or forfeit it, which one do you think you would prefer? Which brings us to the concept of unlimited paid time off. Only 4% of the companies who participated in our survey currently offer it. Yet 53% of them were intrigued by the option and only 20% were opposed to it all together. 15

16 Unlimited paid time off is a becoming a trendy benefit to offer employees, generally at the executive or management level. With a paid time off structure like this, work is based on the honor system and employees are accountable for ensuring timelines and deadlines are met. A majority of the companies that offer this option are startups that are hiring managers, senior managers, and executives. So where does that leave hourly or shift employees? The biggest dilemma associated with offering paid time off is not necessarily how to distribute it, but how to manage it. Because time off affects your company both from a cost and production standpoint, many employers have to decide on the benefits and drawbacks from a management standpoint. 25% of our survey respondents said their company is affected by time off primarily from a cost standpoint, where 38% stated that their productivity levels were directly affected by it and 16% stated employee morale plummeted as a result. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average absence rate of an employee per year is 4%. Given that 31% of our interviewees reported to have less than a 2% average employee absent rate and 14% stated that their absent rate was over 4%, controlling the expense of paid time off seems to be less of an issue than originally thought; at least for our participants anyway. That being said, this may be due to the fact that 66% of them stated that they reinforce their paid time off with a strict set of policy guidelines that their employees must adhere to. 16

17 Key Takeaways 1. Time & attendance software can help raise employee engagement. 2. Forecast your schedules by reviewing your numbers & analyzing your data. 3. A good benefits package can help you attract, hire and retain good employees. 4. Mobile time & attendance gives you the ability to track attendance, approve time off and overtime, and mass edit employees schedules through a mobile device. 5. Map out your costs to uncover opportunities nettime solutions 17

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